An emergency air search for a boat that made an early-hours distress call has been called off - but its whereabouts and reason for the alarm are still not known.
The search for the vessel, which was organised by the Jersey Coastguard and carried out by the Channel Islands Air Search (CIAS), was terminated after six-and-a-half hours.
The CIAS launched their aircraft – ‘Air Search One’ – at 07:30 this morning at the request of the Coastguard following concerns for the safety of a vessel travelling between Jersey and Guernsey.
Pictured: The CIAS search has now been called off.
In a statement, the Ports of Jersey said that “the search areas were determined using information based on the received traffic report and utilised search and rescue planning software taking into consideration wind and tidal modelling".
“Prevailing weather conditions during the search have been poor, with rough sea conditions and winds between 30-55 knots," they added.
The Coastguard were notified of a boat, known as ‘Delta Boy’ or ‘Delta Buoy’, which was intending to sail between the Channel Islands at around 23:00 last night (Wednesday 13 March).
‘Delta B(u)oy’ was supposed to arrive in Guernsey at 00:30 this morning, but nothing further was heard from them.
Pictured: The Coastguard were notified of a boat intending to make it to Guernsey by 00:30 this morning.
At 04:00, the Guernsey Coastguard picked up a ‘PAN-PAN’ call – a distress signal to alert that a boat is in an urgent situation, but there is no immediate threat to life – but it is not yet known whether this call came from ‘Delta B(u)oy’ ship, and its location remains unknown.
This came after the Jersey Coastguard issued an ‘orange’ level warning to advise mariners of a strong, westerly Force 9 wind.
Ports of Jersey officials said that a "range of enquiries" had been undertaken over the past few hours, "including broadcast action, information searches, checks of St. Aubin and St. Peter Port harbours as well as along Jersey’s west coast".
“No further information relating to the vessel has been received during this time. Survivability criteria has been taken into consideration, including the current sea temperature and prevailing weather conditions," their statement continued.
Pictured: St. Aubin's harbour has been checked as part of the "extensive" search.
Despite the search being called off, the Coastguard is still appealing to anyone with information about the vessel known as ‘Delta Boy’ or ‘Delta Buoy’ to get in touch with them on 01534 447705.
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